The Word of God

May 31, 2022


Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Lectionary: 572

Reading I – Zep 3:14-18A

Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
            Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
            O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
            he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
            you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
            Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
            a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
            and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
            as one sings at festivals.

Or – Rom 12:9-16



Brothers and sisters:
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;
do not be wise in your own estimation.
 

Responsorial Psalm – Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6

R.        (6)  Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
God indeed is my savior;
            I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
            and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
            at the fountain of salvation.
R.        Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
            among the nations make known his deeds,
            proclaim how exalted is his name.
R.        Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
            let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
            for great in your midst
            is the Holy One of Israel!
R.        Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.

Alleluia – See Lk 1:45

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 1:39-56

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:
 “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
            my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
            for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
            the Almighty has done great things for me,
            and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
            in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
            he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
            and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
            and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
            for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
            the promise he made to our fathers,
            to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.

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The Visitation


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 31, 2022

Generosity is a willingness to give even at a cost to oneself. It expresses concern for meeting the needs of others, even if it means sacrificing something of one’s own. We are to extend ourselves to all of mankind, especially the neediest. To do so, we are emulating Jesus, who went after the one lost sheep. To love is to give. God loves us and gives us everything He wants us to have. When we give, as our Lord encourages, we truly deny ourselves. Generosity must be done in silence to merit grace from God and not merely the thanksgiving of mortal men. It is very easy to be generous to our relatives or friends, but that is not generosity since we will be repaid for that with friendship, thanksgiving, and praise. Generosity must extend to the poor and the needy. It is a quest for justice as we have the work of God to provide for those who don’t have it.

The most excellent example of Generosity (after Jesus Himself): The Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Blessed Mother exhibits the fullness of love and truth in the fullness of grace. She is generous in charity, patient, kind, and gentle; she is good and faithful, chaste, modest, and temperate. Her spirit rejoices in God, her savior, and she is at peace even in trying times because she trusted in the Lord: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.” (Gospel)

Three times in this life, Mary was blessed in a special way by the Holy Spirit – at her Immaculate Conception, at the Annunciation, and at Pentecost – and we are the beneficiaries of the immeasurable fruits of the Spirit produced in her. Through her maternal protection and intercession, we obtain pardon for our sins, health in times of sickness, the strength of heart when we are weak, consolation in the face of affliction, and help when we are in danger. Above all, she is the Mother of Christ, our Redeemer, and our Mother.

Today, we recall her famous visit to her cousin Elizabeth. John the Baptist leaped in her womb, foreshadowing our joy at the Birth of Mary’s Son, Jesus. She also shows us quintessentially how to evangelize, bringing Jesus to others at every opportunity. Mary also powerfully reminds us that every encounter we have has the potential to bring the Good News to someone who truly needs it. Thank you, Mary, for your wonderful YES!

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May 30, 2022


Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Lectionary: 297

Reading I – Acts 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They answered him,
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
He said, “How were you baptized?”
They replied, “With the baptism of John.”
Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus.”
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 68:2-3AB, 4-5ACD, 6-7AB

R.        (33A)  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
            and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
            as wax melts before the fire.
R.        Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
            they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
            whose name is the LORD.
R.        Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
            is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
            he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R.        Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Col 3:1

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

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Ascension: I’ll Be Back


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 30, 2022

The Feast that we celebrate today brings a newness of understanding and a fresh and bold way to continue the path we have chosen all the way to Heaven. This virtual retreat that started on Ash Wednesday, culminating on Easter Sunday, is now being fully realized and planted in our hearts right as Pentecost looms with the promise of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit: “So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.” This does not mark an end of the relationship Jesus has with us, the Church, but rather a new beginning and new way of how we relate to Him as He returns to the Father. We are the Body of Christ, and thus we have also ascended with Him in a very hopeful and powerful way. This must change how we look at our lives today, knowing that the greatest is still yet to come for all of us. Our very nature now is in transition between Heaven and earth, and it will be up to us to decide how we are to act while we live and move and have our being. That must involve praying for, waiting for, and living in the gifts of wisdom and knowledge. We must be witnesses!

“We must show our Christian colors if we are to be true to Jesus Christ.” (C. S. Lewis) Perhaps the most awesome lesson to learn from today’s Feast is that Jesus is coming back just as He said He would. This does NOT mean that we lie in wait, scared and anxious about the cataclysmic doomsday that is so popular in science-fiction and pop culture. The opposite is true: doesn’t it make more sense than if you knew someone you deeply loved was coming to see you, wouldn’t you be outside eager and happy to greet them, having prepared a lavish welcome with mind and heart ready and poised to hold and embrace and even shout with a song upon seeing them again? Absolutely! To be honest, it is not always easy to maintain such a joyful demeanor, especially when there are crises we must face and problems we must address. Sometimes we are allowed to hit rock bottom so we may know that God is The Rock at the bottom. Discovering this mysterious truth, we then are set again to face whatever comes with the strength inside from Him, who is returning just as He left. Indeed, we could and should shout with the Second Reading today: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

“What then are we to do about our problems? We must learn to live with them until such time as God delivers us from them…we must pray for grace to endure them without murmuring. Problems patiently endured will work for our spiritual perfecting. They harm us only when we resist them or endure them unwillingly.”  A.W. Tozer 

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May 29 – The Ascension of the Lord


For the Readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, please go here.

Lectionary: 58

Reading I – Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
            shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
            is the great king over all the earth.
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
            the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
            sing praise to our king, sing praise.
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
            sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
            God sits upon his holy throne.
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
Alleluia.

Reading II – Eph 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might:
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

OR: – Heb 9:24-28; 10:19-23



Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that men and women die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since through the blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh,
and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,”
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.

Alleluia – Mt 28:19A, 20B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 24:46-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
but stay in the city
until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.

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May 29, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for the The Ascension of the Lord, please go here.

Seventh Sunday of Easter

Lectionary: 61

Reading I – Acts 7:55-60

Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice,
covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice,
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them;”
and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 97:1-2, 6-7, 9

R (1A and 9A) The Lord is king, the most high over all the earth.
or:
Alleluia.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
            let the many islands be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
The Lord is king, the most high over all the earth.
or:
Alleluia.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
            and all peoples see his glory.
All gods are prostrate before him.
The Lord is king, the most high over all the earth.
or:
Alleluia.
You, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
            exalted far above all gods.
The Lord is king, the most high over all the earth.
or:
R         Alleluia.
 

Reading II – Rev 22:12-14, 16-17, 20

I, John, heard a voice saying to me:
“Behold, I am coming soon.
I bring with me the recompense I will give to each
according to his deeds.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are they who wash their robes
so as to have the right to the tree of life
and enter the city through its gates.

“I, Jesus, sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.
I am the root and offspring of David,
the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
Let the hearer say, “Come.”
Let the one who thirsts come forward,
and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.

The one who gives this testimony says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!
 

Alleluia – Cf. Jn 14:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord.
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for them,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

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Conquering In The Struggle


gloomy weather clouds over railway tracks

“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 29, 2022

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.” Each time we live through the great transforming Seasons of Lent and Easter, there must be some part of us that is changed. Understanding and embracing final justice and the Last Judgement has the remarkable effect of grounding us closer and closer to Jesus, knowing that as long as we stand with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit, life can never be the same again.

So my dear friends, what are we to do as we bathe in the grace of these powerful proclamations from Scripture? First, practice the faith. Of course, the spiritual life is a struggle, but we find ourselves and our road to holiness within that grind. Second, be generous in the things of God and pray for the spirit of detachment. The early Christians lived this remarkable spirit, and even though their lifestyle didn’t amount to much in monetary terms, their intention and hearts certainly did, as they were poised for entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Finally, reject discouragement: “I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

“Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.” Brennan Manning

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May 28, 2022


Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 296

Reading I – Acts 18:23-28

After staying in Antioch some time,
Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence
through the Galatian country and Phrygia,
bringing strength to all the disciples.

A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria,
an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus.
He was an authority on the Scriptures.
He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and,
with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus,
although he knew only the baptism of John.
He began to speak boldly in the synagogue;
but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him,
they took him aside
and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.
And when he wanted to cross to Achaia,
the brothers encouraged him
and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him.
After his arrival he gave great assistance
to those who had come to believe through grace.
He vigorously refuted the Jews in public,
establishing from the Scriptures that the Christ is Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm – 47:2-3, 8-9, 10

R.        (8A)  God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands;
            shout to God with cries of gladness.
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
            is the great king over all the earth.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
            sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
            God sits upon his holy throne.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The princes of the peoples are gathered together
            with the people of the God of Abraham.
For God’s are the guardians of the earth;
            he is supreme.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 16:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I came from the Father and have come into the world;
now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 16:23B-28

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have told you this in figures of speech.
The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures
but I will tell you clearly about the Father.
On that day you will ask in my name,
and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.
For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me
and have come to believe that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

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Beauty No Misery


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 28, 2022

“I came from the Father and have come into the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” What kind of magnificent love has inspired and propelled God to send His Son Jesus Christ to be born in a filthy manger, live a poor life, then be crucified for our sins? Perhaps a line from today’s Gospel helps us answer this profound question: “For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.”

As we are surrounded by the great Feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost, we are called to respond with the enthusiastic joy of the awareness that is brought to the one who understands this gift and cannot help but be changed forever. My life must be different because of what happened to me and the world. Death has been defeated, and there is a place waiting for me in Heaven forever. This is also underscored by the opening lines of today’s Responsorial Psalm: “All you peoples, clap your hands; shout to God with cries of gladness. For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.” Let us move forward into this weekend with new resolve and new hope. Darkness cannot and will not extinguish what we have been given.

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” Anne Frank  

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May 27, 2022


For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, please go here.

Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 295

Reading I – Acts 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
“Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
“This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.”
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
“If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.”
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm – 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.        (8A)  God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
            shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
            is the great king over all the earth.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
            nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
            the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
            the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
            sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – See Lk 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

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May 27 – Optional Memorial of Saint Augustine of Canterbury, bishop


For the Readings for the Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter, please go here.

Lectionary: 571

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For Missionaries, #719-724.
 

Reading 1 – 1 Thes 2:2b-8

Brothers and sisters:
We drew courage through our God
to speak to you the Gospel of God with much struggle.
Our exhortation was not from delusion or impure motives,
nor did it work through deception.
But as we were judged worthy by God to be entrusted with the Gospel,
that is how we speak,
not as trying to please men,
but rather God, who judges our hearts.
Nor, indeed, did we ever appear with flattering speech, as you know,
or with a pretext for greed–God is witness–
nor did we seek praise from men,
either from you or from others,
although we were able to impose our weight as Apostles of Christ.
Rather, we were gentle among you,
as a nursing mother cares for her children.
With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you
not only the Gospel of God, but our very selves as well,
so dearly beloved had you become to us.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10

R.    (3)  Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R.    Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Alleluia – Jn 10:14

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 9:35-38

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.”

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Labor Pains


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 27, 2022

“You’ll never understand life until it grows within you.” (Sandra C. Kassis). “When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.” The Gospel today presents us with yet another powerful and insightful image to help us understand the depths of our spiritual lives and how we can best understand and live them to their fullest with Jesus Christ always before us. The basic wisdom at play here is quite simple: the greater the goal, the greater the sacrifice, the greater the sacrifice, the greater the reward. “Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory.” Jesus accomplished everything for us with a great amount of pain and suffering. But just look at the results: Our salvation and place in heaven have been assured and guaranteed. All we need to do is get there. Consider the following two quotes and allow for some quality time today to reflect on them:

“If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Savior used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ.” Saint Ignatius of Loyola

“When it is all over you will not regret having suffered; rather you will regret having suffered so little, and suffered that little so badly.” St. Sebastian Valfre

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May 26, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for the The Ascension of the Lord, please go here.
For the Suggested Readings for the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest

Lectionary: 294

Reading I – Acts 18:1-8

Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus,
who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla
because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.
He went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade,
stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue,
attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia,
Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word,
testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
When they opposed him and reviled him,
he shook out his garments and said to them,
“Your blood be on your heads!
I am clear of responsibility.
From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
So he left there and went to a house
belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God;
his house was next to a synagogue.
Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord
along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians
who heard believed and were baptized.

Responsorial Psalm – 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R.        (see 2B)  The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:       
R.        Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
            for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
            his holy arm.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
            in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
            toward the house of Israel.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
            the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
            break into song; sing praise.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – See Jn 14:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 16:16-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A little while and you will no longer see me,
and again a little while later and you will see me.”
So some of his disciples said to one another,
“What does this mean that he is saying to us,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me,’
and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”
So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks?
We do not know what he means.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
“Are you discussing with one another what I said,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me’?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

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May 26 – Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, priest


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, please go here.
For the Suggested Readings for the The Ascension of the Lord, please go here.

Lectionary: 570

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724, or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.

Reading 1 – Phil 4:4-9

Brothers and sisters:
Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again:  rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all.
The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters,
whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11

R.    (2)  I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    (9)  Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear and be glad.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R.     I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Fear the LORD, you his holy ones,
for nought is lacking to those who fear him.
The great grow poor and hungry;
but those who seek the LORD want for no good thing.
R.    I will bless the Lord at all times.
or:
R.    Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Alleluia – Jn 15:9b, 5B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in my love, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 17:20-26

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

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May 26 – The Ascension of the Lord


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, please go here.
For the Suggested Readings for the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, please go here.

Lectionary: 58

Reading I – Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
            shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
            is the great king over all the earth.
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
            the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
            sing praise to our king, sing praise.
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
            sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
            God sits upon his holy throne.
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
Alleluia.

Reading II – Eph 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might:
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

OR – Heb 9:24-28; 10:19-23



Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that men and women die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since through the blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh,
and since we have “a great priest over the house of God,”
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.

Alleluia – Mt 28:19A, 20B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Lk 24:46-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
but stay in the city
until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.

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Such Sweet Sorrow


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 26, 2022

“Good night, good night. Parting is such sweet sorrow that I’ll say good night until tonight becomes tomorrow.” –Shakespeare, (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, Line 185) “I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord; I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.” How can separation and painful longing be good? Perhaps we could also remember the adage repeated a million times all over the globe, which states emphatically that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Is that true? Because of our weakened humanity, always longing for things that will never disappoint, anger or end, we can see how separation allows us to be much more aware and grateful for the people and the things around us. Think of the ailing patient in a cold, removed hospital room who misses the outdoors. Then imagine the first day out of the hospital. What joy it would be!

And there is yet another sweetening factor here: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.” Please realize today and for the rest of our tomorrows what access we have been given after the Ascension and in the power of the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost. We can and must ask God for our needs with the assurance and confidence that the Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus has given us. “Ask and you will receive” is better than all the promises of the world combined! That is why the parting of Christ at the Ascension is such sweet sorrow.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” A.A. Milne

“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.” Helen Keller

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May 25, 2022


For the Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, please go here.
For the Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, please go here.
For the Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, please go here.

Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 293

Reading I – Acts 17:15, 22—18:1

After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
“You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’
as even some of your poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world
with justice’ through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
“We should like to hear you on this some other time.”
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14

R.        Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
            praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
            praise him, all you his hosts.
R.        Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
            the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
            old men and boys.
R.        Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
            for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R.        Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
            from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
            Alleluia.
R.        Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 14:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”

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May 25 – Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, virgin


For the Readings for the Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter, please go here.
For the Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, please go here.
For the Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, please go here.

Lectionary: 569

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Virgins, #731-736 or the Common of Holy Men and Women: For Religious, #737-742.
 

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 7:25-35

In regard to virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord,
but I give my opinion as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.
So this is what I think best because of the present distress:
that it is a good thing for a person to remain as he is.
Are you bound to a wife?  Do not seek a separation.
Are you free of a wife?  Then do not look for a wife.
If you marry, however, you do not sin,
nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries;
but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life,
and I would like to spare you that.

I tell you, brothers and sisters, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

I should like you to be free of anxieties.
An unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord,
how he may please the Lord.
But a married man is anxious about the things of the world,
how he may please his wife, and he is divided.
An unmarried woman or a virgin is anxious about the things of the Lord,
so that she may be holy in both body and spirit.
A married woman, on the other hand,
is anxious about the things of the world,
how she may please her husband.
I am telling you this for your own benefit,
not to impose a restraint upon you,
but for the sake of propriety
and adherence to the Lord without distraction.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 148:1-2, 11-13, 13-14

R.    (see 12a and 13a) Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights;
Praise him, all you his angels,
praise him, all you his hosts.
R.    Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men, too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted.
R.    Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
He has lifted up the horn of his people.    
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones;
from the children of Israel, the people close to him. Alleluia.
R.    Young men and women, praise the name of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 8:31b-32

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mk 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to him and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”

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May 25 – Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, pope, religious


For the Readings for the Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter, please go here.
For the Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, please go here.
For the Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, please go here.

Lectionary: 568

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors: For a Pope, #719-724.

 

Reading 1 – Acts 20:17-18A, 28-32, 36

From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group,
some will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.”

When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R.    (4b)  You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R.    You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Alleluia – Mk 1:17

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

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May 25 – Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, priest and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter, please go here.
For the Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, please go here.
For the Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, please go here.

Lectionary: 567

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724, or the Common of Doctors of the Church, #725-730.
 

Reading 1 – 1 Cor 2:10b-16

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?
But we have the mind of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

R.    (12)  Lord, teach me your statutes.
How shall a young man be faultless in his way?
By keeping to your words.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
all the ordinances of your mouth.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches.
R.    Lord, teach me your statutes.

Reading 2 – See Jn 6:63, 68C

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 7:21-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’
will enter the Kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day,
‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?
Did we not drive out demons in your name?
Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’
Then I will declare to them solemnly,
‘I never knew you.  Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.
And everyone who listens to these words of mine
but does not act on them
will be like a fool who built his house on sand.
The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and buffeted the house.
And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words,
the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
for he taught them as one having authority,
and not as their scribes.

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Gods Of Our Own Making


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 25, 2022

Our First Reading today reveals a remarkable experience that St. Paul had when speaking to the deeply religious Greeks living in Athens at that time: “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious.” As we recall, the Greeks had an altar to an unknown or unrecognizable deity, and the brilliant St. Paul utilized this moment in what had to have been a breath-taking moment. He built on their spiritual experience of something beyond their immediate grasp. He began to introduce the wonders and miraculous comfort of our God, who clearly does not want to remain hidden or distant and who has been and will always be patiently awaiting an epiphany on the part of every individual who is looking for truth and meaning their lives: “God has overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people everywhere repent.”

“But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” These wonderful passages are preparing us for the great Feasts of the Ascension and Pentecost, which are being anticipated by the whole Church in the coming weeks. First, Jesus must physically leave to prepare a place for us. Second, The Holy Spirit must come down upon the Church so that Christians everywhere may fully enter the mystery of grace and salvation at a level of comfort, vision, and understanding. We pray during this time for an infusion of wisdom so that we might comprehend what is happening in our lives and place all those events, good and bad, happy and tragic, onto the backdrop and perspective of our eternal life in Heaven. Allow these days of waiting for Pentecost to make a real impact on your life. It promises to be amazing, even if it is just one small received insight. It could make a huge difference.

“Our society worships gods of our own making. Our culture is saturated with the worship of sports, sex and pleasure. We are busy humanizing God and deifying man. Our idols are not statues of gold and marble; our idols come from the things we love the most. Life does not have to be filled with such emptiness, but we can fill our minds and hearts with the things that bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr.” Billy Graham

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May 24, 2022


Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 292

Reading I – Acts 16:22-34

The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

Responsorial Psalm – 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R.        (7C)  Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
            for you have heard the words of my mouth;
            in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
            and give thanks to your name.
R.        Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
            you have made great above all things
            your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
            you built up strength within me.
R.        Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
            your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
            forsake not the work of your hands.
R.        Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – See Jn 16:7, 13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 16:5-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

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Giving Us What We Desire


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 24, 2022

“Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.'” When we say that we believe in something or someone, that one little phrase speaks volumes. When you or I say that our belief is placed in a person, everything points to complete trust, respect, and love. This is why when we surrender power to people we love, and rightly so, we also risk a terrible plight of being hurt badly. Many of us have heard the statement that “no one can hurt you like the one you love can hurt you.”

“And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation.” This is why the ongoing promise on the part of Jesus for the Holy Spirit, often referred to as the Advocate in several of the passages this month, is how we come to put our trust in Jesus, believing in what He says to do, is of the most remarkable and utmost importance for the salvation of our souls.

And the great news is, unlike people, the Lord will NEVER hurt us. What a relief!

“As we journey through this life – through the easy times and the painful times – God is fashioning us into people who are like his Son, Jesus. That means God is in the process of changing what we desire far more than he is in the process of giving us what we desire.” Charles Stanley

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May 23, 2022


Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 291

Reading I – Acts 16:11-15

We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,
from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.

Responsorial Psalm – 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A and 9B

R.        (see 4A)  The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song
            of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
            let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R.        The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
            let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
            and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R.        The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
            let them sing for joy upon their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
            This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R.        The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 15:26B, 27B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 15:26—16:4A

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”

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Lydia’s Legacy


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 23, 2022

“One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying.” From time to time, the Scriptures unfold and reveal certain special treasures that make sense to a handful of believers, even more so than to others. Today is one of those days. Although we may not have ever heard of Saint Lydia, she did exist, and in some parts of the Church on the planet, her veneration and memory are still celebrated. The site where she was baptized is marked with a modern Greek Orthodox chapel just outside the NW gate of Roman Philippi in Greece.

“And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” Although, for most Catholics, praying to Saint Lydia for her intercession to the Lord for us would be very innovative and unique, there is something wonderful and insightful here. What she models for us is not new. In his 1995 Letter to Women, Saint John Paul II wrote, “In this vast domain of service, the Church’s two-thousand-year history, for all its historical conditioning, has truly experienced the ‘genius of woman’; from the heart of the Church there have emerged women of the highest caliber who have left an impressive and beneficial mark in history.” St. Lydia’s genius is instructive and worthy of our consideration for knowing the desires of her heart: She was a businesswoman who lived the virtue of hospitality, a leader of people, and a follower of Jesus Christ. She knew her own heart and followed its inspirations and attractions to the person of Jesus Christ. Let us ask Lydia to guide all women, indeed, all Christians, in their responding sacrificially to the holy desires of their hearts. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home.”

“Pour out upon us, Lord, the spirit of knowledge and love of you, with which you filled your handmaid blessed Lydia, so that, serving you sincerely in imitation of her, we may be pleasing to you by our faith and our works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.” Amen.

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May 22, 2022


Sixth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary: 57

Reading I – Acts 15:1-2, 22-29

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders
about this question.

The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:

“The apostles and the elders, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right.  Farewell.’”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
            may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
            among all nations, your salvation.
O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
            because you rule the peoples in equity;
            the nations on the earth you guide.
O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
            may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
            and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
Alleluia.

Reading II – Rev 21:10-14, 22-23

The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

I saw no temple in the city
for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.
The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gave it light,
and its lamp was the Lamb.

Alleluia – Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 14:23-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.”

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Never Alone


person on hill outstretched arms facing sunrise

“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 22, 2022

“If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right.” If someone were to ask you what you thought clearly marks the life of a Christian, what do you think you would say? No doubt, some would say that they are people who are nice, friendly, and generous with their time and possessions. Others might also chime in and say that the mark of a Christian is a thirst for God’s Word. Even though answers like these are correct, there is one hallmark that is often forgotten. It is the hallmark of love. Christians should love each other. That means that at every opportunity we approach, especially in the face of evil and hatred, if we truly want to look like a Christian, we must act like one and forgive and love as often as possible.

“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” This is why the promise on the part of Jesus for the Holy Spirit, called the Advocate in these passages, is of the most remarkable and utmost importance. You see, without the help of the Holy Spirit, we couldn’t possibly know what it means to forgive and move on with our lives; we would not know what it means to trust and place all of our lives, especially its worries and difficulties at the foot of the cross and know that we are never alone.

“You are never left alone when you are alone with God.” Woodrow Kroll

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May 21, 2022


For the Optional Memorial of Saint Christopher Magallanes, please go here.

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 290

Reading I – Acts 16:1-10

Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra
where there was a disciple named Timothy,
the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer,
but his father was a Greek.
The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him,
and Paul wanted him to come along with him.
On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised,
for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
As they traveled from city to city,
they handed on to the people for observance the decisions
reached by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem.
Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith
and increased in number.

They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory
because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit
from preaching the message in the province of Asia.
When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia,
but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them,
so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas.
During the night Paul had a vision.
A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
When he had seen the vision,
we sought passage to Macedonia at once,
concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 100:1B-2, 3, 5

R.        (2A)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
            serve the LORD with gladness;
            come before him with joyful song.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Know that the LORD is God;
            he made us, his we are;
            his people, the flock he tends.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The LORD is good:
            his kindness endures forever,
            and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Col 3:1

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”

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May 21 – Optional Memorial of Saint Christopher Magallanes, priest, and Companions, martyrs


For the Readings for the Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter, please go here.

Lectionary: 566A

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718.
 

Reading 1 – Rv 7:9-17

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever.  Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

“For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.  
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.  
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the afflicted man called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.  
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.  
R. The Lord delivered me from all my fears.

Reading 2 – Mt 5:10

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.  
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

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I Just Want to be Happy


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 21, 2022

People are always disappointed. Think about the hateful disappointment of those over 2,000 years ago who were expecting their own created version of the Messiah! They expected a revolutionary who would wield such political and military power that anyone associated with him would be called “his friend.” Selfishly, they would then somehow share in that tremendous and overwhelmingly amassed power. It is little wonder why such as these rejected Jesus Christ flat out because, astoundingly, he promoted service as a basis for greatness. He even washed feet and wounds and ate with sinners and outcasts: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

Those who rejected Jesus when He first came were steeped in their mistaken ideas about who God promised and how he would save them from their sins. This still happens today as Jesus comes to us every single day of our lives, which calls upon us to set aside any biases or unrealistic expectations and accept the Lord Jesus just as He says He is for the world: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” Love Jesus today with all your heart, and then allow that remarkable decision to permeate and affect everything you do and say. Sometimes the human heart needs more time to accept what the mind already knows.

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.”
C. S. Lewis

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May 20, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for the Memorial of Saint Bernardine of Siena, please go here.

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 289

Reading I – Acts 15:22-31

The Apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole Church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:
“The Apostles and the presbyters, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’“

And so they were sent on their journey.
Upon their arrival in Antioch
they called the assembly together and delivered the letter.
When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 57:8-9, 10 and 12

R.        (10a)  I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
            I will sing and chant praise.
Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
            I will wake the dawn.
R.        I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
            I will chant your praise among the nations.
For your mercy towers to the heavens,
            and your faithfulness to the skies.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
            above all the earth be your glory!
R.        I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 15:15B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

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To Live As Friends


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 20, 2022

“I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.” Perhaps one of the greatest gifts we each have in this life is that of solid, lasting, and supportive friendship. We often do not think about this treasure in our lives, but it is one that we certainly miss when it is gone. Jesus offers the most remarkable share in His life by calling us His friends and providing us the same comforts and encouragements that come from good friends. And He promises that He is also present in those relationships that bring us closer and closer to Heaven and help build our relationship with Jesus Himself. “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

The Lord also offers a deeper insight into love and friendship when he states what might have been so obvious beforehand: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The ultimate sacrifice that people make for each other is the utmost extent of a loving commitment of one friend to another. Sometimes that sacrifice is carried out in one singular moment or lived out over many years of life. Nevertheless, friendship in the Lord Jesus is the greatest gift nourished by the Word of the Scriptures and the Bread of Life.

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends.”


Michael W. Smith

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May 19, 2022


Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 288

Reading I – Acts 15:7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
“My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.”
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
“My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

            After this I shall return
                        and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
            from its ruins I shall rebuild it
                        and raise it up again,
            so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
                        even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
            Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
                        known from of old.

It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”

Responsorial Psalm – 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 10

R.        (3)  Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
            sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R.        Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
            among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R.        Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
            he governs the peoples with equity.
R.        Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”

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Complete Joy


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 19, 2022

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” Joy is both a mysterious and complicated matter for some reason. What brings joy to one and not to another? Why do some people avoid being happy while others thrive on it? Perhaps part of the understanding of human nature is revealed within each person who feels and experiences life through their prism of life and love. Each person makes a fundamental decision practically every day of their life as to what will make them happy, sad, angry, or even apathetic. For our purposes in trying to unlock the Scriptures, we could say that joy, like happiness, is a choice and a very important one from the looks of things.

“My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me.” It comes down to this: it all depends on who you listen to. We all know friends and acquaintances that are news aficionados and who have their hands on the pulse of all things newsworthy or not. We know people whose worldview is determined by those few people who occupy their inner circles. And, of course, some seem aimless and lost because they have no one. That is why listening for the voice of Jesus today is critical. What is He saying to you, right here, right now? So much is riding and depends on the answer to this question. If we want complete joy in Christ, we must listen. And we listen, we follow. Then our joy might be complete.

“Prayer is first of all listening to God. It’s openness. God is always speaking; he’s always doing something. Prayer is to enter into that activity… Convert your thoughts into prayer. As we are involved in unceasing thinking, so we are called to unceasing prayer. The difference is not that prayer is thinking about other things, but that prayer is thinking in dialogue,… a conversation with God.” Henri Nouwen

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May 18, 2022


For the Optional Memorial of Saint John I, please go here.

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 287

Reading I – Acts 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Responsorial Psalm – 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R.        (see 1)  Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
            “We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
            within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R.        Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city
            with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
            the tribes of the LORD.
R.        Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,
            to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
            seats for the house of David.
R.        Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 15:4A, 5B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

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Remain in Me


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 18, 2022

“Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.” This is yet another profound and useful image to understand our role and purpose in this life. How often have we asked ourselves or heard others ask about why we are here and our purpose? Sometimes our vision for ourselves falls short of what is going on in our lives. At times our perspective on the world around us becomes bitter, and thus, our actions and words become rude, unkind, and thoughtless with numbing regularity. We mistakenly think there is no good fruit to be found, but the real truth is that we haven’t spent enough quality time with our beautiful and loving God. When we allow ourselves the time to realize how great our God is, we begin to see and bear good fruit. Then and only then does it become much easier to choose gratitude over complaining.

This now brings us to this very telling and provocative warning from the Lord: “Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.” At the heart of the battle for our souls is a real enemy who prowls around seeking someone to devour. Evil will never stop gaining new ground and moving others away from the Lord. This is yet another reason we must be aware of those who just “talk the talk.” “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” We must also realize that we will be able to recognize the true person living in every human being by their fruits. That includes you and me, especially in our day-to-day interaction with our fellow sojourners on this planet toward Heaven, always knowing and trusting that the Lord Jesus will make a great harvest even out of our most humble intentions as long as we remain faithful. Be great today! You may never know what kind of rich harvest you will be planting.

“Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.” Robert Schuller

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May 17, 2022


Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 286

Reading I – Acts 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city.
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

Responsorial Psalm – 145:10-11, 12-13AB, 21

R.        (see 12)  Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
            and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
            and speak of your might.
R.        Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Making known to men your might
            and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
            and your dominion endures through all generations.
R.        Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
            and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R.        Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – See Lk 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 14:27-31

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

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Slow Down Today


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 17, 2022

“And when they arrived, they called the Church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. Then they spent no little time with the disciples.” When everything is so clear and lucid at that wonderful moment in life, you just do not want time to end. We might say that time was relative in those special episodes around us. “Time is relative” means the rate of change of time is not the same for every frame of reference. Two people sitting in two other frames of reference can measure different rates of time, i.e., one’s clocks can tick faster than others or vice-versa. When the grace of God surrounds you, time stands still, and everything comes into such clear focus that we just do not ever want to leave that space. But unfortunately, reality knocks relentlessly, and we go back to the grime and gristle of it all. The joy that overwhelmed the disciples in our First Reading understood that very well. They knew and quickly realized that great things take great sacrifices but yield even greater rewards: “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” They couldn’t spend enough time listening to all the wonders that God had done for those who never lost trust or faith in Him.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” To find these deep, wonderful moments of clarity, we must slow down. If we think that somehow and somehow, we will finish everything we think we need to accomplish, we will wear ourselves down. This leaves little time to survey and realize how God our God is to us. Try slowing today. You’ll be so glad you did.

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” Saint Francis de Sales

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May 16, 2022


Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 285

Reading I – Acts 14:5-18

There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked.
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet.”
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
“The gods have come down to us in human form.”
They called Barnabas “Zeus” and Paul “Hermes,”
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
“Men, why are you doing this?
We are of the same nature as you, human beings.
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts.”
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.

Responsorial Psalm – 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16

R.        (1AB)  Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
            but to your name give glory
            because of your mercy, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
            “Where is their God?”
R.        Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
            whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
            the handiwork of men.
R.        Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
            who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the LORD,
            but the earth he has given to the children of men.
R.        Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 14:26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 14:21-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
“Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send in my name
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.”

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Looking for Scars


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 16, 2022

“When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they cried out in Lycaonian, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form.'” Have you ever wondered why so many seem preoccupied with the movie, sports, and music superstars? Take a look at the raw energy at concerts, movie premieres, award shows, and sports events and notice how crazy people get over these people, who, like Paul and Barnabas in our First Reading, are just human beings like ourselves. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that too many people do not have God in their lives, so they will and have settled for a bunch of little, passing, inconsequential gods. They last for a moment until the next rage appears. So sad!

“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” “Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved.'” As we have heard in today’s Readings, the only remedy for this obsession with human idols is to be open to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and knowledge. Belief and trust in the Lord Jesus promise that we will have clarity in this life, peace in our hearts, and right judgments, especially when we watch the news of any given number of movies and television shows, not to mention sporting events. Jesus truly loves us and is not looking for fame or good looks but loving Him back in return.

“God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas but for scars.” Elbert Hubbard

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May 15, 2022


Fifth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary: 54

Reading I – Acts 14:21-27

After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news
to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the kingdom of God.”
They appointed elders for them in each church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13

R (CF. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
Alleluia.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
            slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
            and compassionate toward all his works.
I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
            and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
            and speak of your might.
I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
Alleluia.
Let them make known your might to the children of Adam,
            and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
            and your dominion endures through all generations.
I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
Alleluia.

Reading II – Rev 21:1-5A

Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away.”

The One who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”
 

Alleluia – Jn 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 13:31-33A, 34-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and God will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”

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Friendship on Fire


senior man smiling looking at phone in hand

“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 15, 2022

“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” One day an older gentleman received a call from his fifty-something son, whose relationship was always good but lived far away in another state. It was a brief call only to say that the younger man had been in a larger meeting, and the man sitting next to him had used the same kind of hair gel his dad had used for all these years (when he had hair). He just wanted his dad to know that remembered his father, missed him and loved him with all his heart. Can you imagine how that older man must have felt? What a great and comforting surprise. “He remembers me, still!”

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” This hope is a little of what it is for those chosen by the Lord to follow Him, which truly includes all of us. This must be the Holy Spirit at great work in the world if it is so personal and yet so universal. The Lord is hungering for our faith while every one of us remains so special and truly close to His Heart. We exist as if there were only one of us in the entire universe. This is what the Holy Spirit does for the one who seeks God in this life.

“I give you a new commandment: love one another.” Perhaps one of the greatest gifts we each have in this life is that of solid, lasting, and supportive friendship. We often do not think about this treasure in our lives, but it is one that we certainly miss when it is gone. Jesus offers the most remarkable share in His life by calling us His friends and providing us the same comforts and encouragements as good friends. And He promises that He is also present in those relationships that bring us closer and closer to Heaven and help build our relationship with Jesus Himself. “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.”

On this beautiful Sunday, take a moment first to remember all the people in your life whom you have loved and love today. Say a deeply felt prayer for them. Thank God for them. Then, follow your heart. If it is with Jesus, you will not be disappointed.

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” Ann Landers

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May 14, 2022


Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle

Lectionary: 564

Reading I – Acts 1:15-17, 20-26

Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters
(there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place).
He said, “My brothers and sisters,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.
For it is written in the Book of Psalms:
            Let his encampment become desolate,
                        and may no one dwell in it.
and:
            May another take his office.

Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm – 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

R.        (8)  The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
            praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
            both now and forever.
R.        The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
            is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
            above the heavens is his glory.
R.        The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
            and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R.        The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
            from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
To seat them with princes,
            with the princes of his own people.
R.        The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – See Jn 15:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you:  love one another.”

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St. Matthias: Love In The Time of Christ


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 14, 2022

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Here we have the most awesome and life-changing promise that the Lord offers to us to ensure that we know that He is absolutely and eternally serious about what he intends to provide for us for all time: He promises to make the ultimate sacrifice for those He loves intensely. Do you personally know anyone who would die for you? If you did, would they be able to assure your entrance into Heaven? Only Jesus can do both.

“Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.” Today is also the Feast of St. Matthias, who “replaced” the fallen traitor Judas after the horrible sequence of events after the Last Supper on Holy Thursday. Again, we have an example of Christ’s love for His Church by continually stocking and staffing good and solid leaders to shepherd and protect the flock. God never leaves us orphans because we live in the time of Christ until we live with Him forever in Heaven.

“If I am a friend of Jesus, I must deliberately and carefully lay down my life for Him. It is a difficult thing to do, and thank God that it is. Salvation is easy for us, because it cost God so much. And Jesus says to us, “…I have called you friends….” Remain faithful to your Friend, and remember that His honor is at stake in your bodily life.” Oswald Chambers

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A Life-saving Skill


male swimmer in pool arms stretched out

I guess you could say there is a right way and a wrong way when it comes to getting older. As I’m nearing the age of sixty-five, that concern seems to dominate at least sixty-five percent of my life. As part of a full disclosure, what I fear the most is getting older and becoming a bitter, cranky, and even revengeful old man and basically just waiting to die. This description, by the way, does adequately describe a whole lot of people I meet from day to day. But more about that later. 

My closest friends tell me that there’s no way that’s going to happen knowing my propensity for hope and optimism and finding joy in the simplest things, especially cooking and, of course by extension, eating. So, when I overheard someone say that there was a senior Olympics for 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s, I jumped at the opportunity. I’m so glad I did. In the last five months I’ve met so many wonderful people that I would not have otherwise known and these people have one thing in common: they are brave. They see the end of life coming slowly but surely, but it doesn’t make them sad or listless or even negative. It just makes them hover over every single moment that they have and never, ever, giving up. I met a man named David while I was swimming laps who then invited me to start swimming with some seriousness as he was preparing to pole vault for the games in San Antonio Texas. I could never see myself pole vaulting at the age of eighteen. At age seventy-five? Respect.

What followed next was something I never expected on so many different levels. Training with other people my own age at 5:00 am in an outdoor, heated pool did wonders for my attitude and the rest of the day. I actually got used to going to bed by 8:30 pm and having everything packed and ready to go in the morning with the expectation that rising so early I might forget something, like my wallet or phone. We must have looked like a band of military veterans, gathering at the gates of a pool reminiscing and reconnecting alongside others much younger and apparently in much better shape. But they didn’t laugh as loud as we did!

Something really wonderful was happening within my soul these past few months, and I truly enjoyed it. I think it was all the time being in the water, facing a challenge head-on, and literally being submersed in nature. I heard that Michael Phelps said that swimming was quite normal for him, bringing him to a state of peace and comfort. He once wrote, “I know my surroundings. It’s my home.”

My first ever athletic competition took place on Palm Sunday this year. And when I say “ever,” I mean EVER! Thankfully, I made the two-and-a-half-hour drive alone, stayed with really great friends, and showed up to the natatorium by myself and about three hours early. It was a truly amazing experience and a memory I think I will choose to hold on to for quite a while. All this time, especially in the early morning hours, I had a chance to truly reflect on my life and all the memories, scars, and the truly wonderful diamonds in my life. I also began to miss a whole slew of people who died, some as many as twenty years ago. You could say that grief is like the ocean coming in waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. And no matter what, in the final analysis, all anyone can do is learn to swim.

By the end of the competition, I swam away with a bronze medal in one event and the gold in an another. No one was more surprised and happier than me. Gratefully, there was sufficient time to think and reflect on what had just happened and I am still celebrating, not to the point of wearing my medals to work or to bed, but they are always close by.

 These past few months I thought about the most difficult times of my life with the hidden hope that I had already sailed through the worst of turbulent seas. I kept hearing an age-old question: What do you do when you find yourself face-to-face with all the worst possible scenarios that you would’ve ever imagined appearing all at once and then challenged to the degree you would never have expected, to follow your own advice, your own counsel and to live what you have told so many others to do in the face of remarkable despair and trial? You keep walking and wondering and asking God how all this happened so quickly. And while you face microcosmic episodes of death, separation and rejection every day, you also find new and amazing opportunities to learn, to cope and to reveal something remarkable about God, the world, love and yourself. And you don’t ever stop because you know if you do, the villains of self-pity and rage will swallow you whole.

 This is my story. And this is why I love Easter. Jesus makes all things new again, even the life of a sixty-something year-old. I hope you can come to a point in your life that surprises you, whether it be through swimming, or sailing, or sewing, or simply finding joy in the tedious, most boring parts of life. It’ll be worth it.

“Swimming is a life-saving skill, so just the fact that the sport that I love can give so much back to other people – and inspire them to join something that they never thought they could do or go after their dreams – is something that is really special to me.” ~Simone Manuel

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May 13, 2022


For the Optional Readings for the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, please go here.

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 283

Reading I – Acts 13:26-33

When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
 “My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
     You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.

Responsorial Psalm – 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11AB

R.        (7BC)  You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
“I myself have set up my king
            on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
            The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
            this day I have begotten you.”
R.        You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
“Ask of me and I will give you
            the nations for an inheritance
            and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
            you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.”
R.        You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
And now, O kings, give heed;
            take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
            with trembling rejoice.
R.        You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 14:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”

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Sanity In The Face Of Human Injustice


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 13, 2022

“We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.” Many continue to comment these days that the world seems to be out of control with no end in sight. Perhaps you know people who are despairing the more they keep watching the news worldwide, which seems so bleak and hopeless. We have people all around us who seem to have no joy left even after the great celebration of Easter! What do you tell someone like that?

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” The only possible response you and I can have is to joyfully and calmly repeat the words that Jesus has for every one of us today. The only real way we can respond to turbulence in our world, communities, and families is to have faith in the One who rose from the dead and continues to give light and promise to all who will listen. Start with yourself. Believe. Trust. Share.

“Do not let your heart become troubled by the sad spectacle of human injustice. Even this has its value in the face of all else. And it is from this that one day you will see the justice of God rising with unfailing triumph.” St. Padre Pio

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May 12, 2022


For the Optional Readings for Saint Pancras, please go here.
For the Optional Readings for Saints Nereus and Achilleus, please go here.

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 282

Reading I – Acts 13:13-25

From Paphos, Paul and his companions
set sail and arrived at Perga in Pamphylia.
But John left them and returned to Jerusalem.
They continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered into the synagogue and took their seats.
After the reading of the law and the prophets,
the synagogue officials sent word to them,
“My brothers, if one of you has a word of exhortation
for the people, please speak.”

So Paul got up, motioned with his hand, and said,
“Fellow children of Israel and you others who are God-fearing, listen.
The God of this people Israel chose our ancestors
and exalted the people during their sojourn in the land of Egypt.
With uplifted arm he led them out,
and for about forty years he put up with them in the desert.
When he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,
he gave them their land as an inheritance
at the end of about four hundred and fifty years.
After these things he provided judges up to Samuel the prophet.
Then they asked for a king.
God gave them Saul, son of Kish,
a man from the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years.
Then he removed him and raised up David as their king;
of him he testified,
I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart;
he will carry out my every wish.

From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise,
has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.
John heralded his coming by proclaiming a baptism of repentance
to all the people of Israel;
and as John was completing his course, he would say,
‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he.
Behold, one is coming after me;
I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of his feet.’”
 

Responsorial Psalm – 89:2-3, 21-22, 25 and 27

R.        (2)  For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The favors of the LORD I will sing forever;
            through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
            in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
“I have found David, my servant;
            with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
            and that my arm may make him strong.”
R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
            and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
            my God, the Rock, my savior.’”
R.        For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
 

Alleluia – See Rv 1:5AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus Christ, you are the faithful witness,
the firstborn of the dead,
you have loved us and freed us from our sins by your Blood.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 13:16-20

When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

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May 12 – Optional Memorial of Saints Nereus and Achilleus


For the Readings for the Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter, please go here.
For the Optional Readings for Saint Pancras, please go here.

Lectionary: 562

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718.
 

Reading 1 – Rv 7:9-17

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen.  Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.

“For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The One who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 124:2-3, 4-5, 7-8

R.    (7) Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Had not the LORD been with us–
when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
R.    Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.

Alleluia – Mt 5:10

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 10:17-22

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

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May 12 – Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras


For the Readings for the Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter, please go here.
For the Optional Readings for Saints Nereus and Achilleus, please go here.

Lectionary: 563

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Martyrs, #713-718.
 

Reading 1 – Rv 19:1, 5-9A

I, John, heard what sounded like the loud voice
of a great multitude in heaven, saying:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory, and might belong to our God.”

Then a voice coming from a heavenly throne said:

“Praise our God, all you his servants,
and you who revere him, small and great.”

Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude
or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder,
as they said:

“Alleluia!
The Lord has established his reign,
our God, the almighty.
Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory.
For the wedding day of the Lamb has come,
his bride has made herself ready.
She was allowed to wear
a bright, clean linen garment.”
(The linen represents the righteous deeds of the holy ones.)

Then an angel said to me, “Write this:
Blessed are those who have been called
to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 8-9, 13-14, 17-18

R.    (1)  O, bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and forget not all his benefits.
R.     O, bless the Lord, my soul!
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R.      O, bless the Lord, my soul!
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R.    O, bless the Lord, my soul!
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him,
For he knows how we are formed;
he remembers that we are dust.
R.    O, bless the Lord, my soul!
But the kindness of the LORD is from eternity
to eternity toward those who fear him,
And his justice toward his children’s children
among those who keep his covenant.
R.    O, bless the Lord, my soul!

Alleluia – See Mt 11:25

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 11:25-30

At that time Jesus responded:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

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Love’s Search for Happiness


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 12, 2022

Imagine the disappointment of those over 2,000 years ago who were expecting their own created version of the Messiah! They expected a revolutionary who would wield such political and military power that anyone associated with him would be called “his friend.” They would then somehow share in that tremendous and overwhelmingly amassed power. It is little wonder why such as these rejected Jesus Christ flat out because, astoundingly, he promoted service as a basis for greatness. He even washed feet and wounds and ate with sinners and outcasts: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

William Shakespeare once wrote, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.” Although there is much truth in that statement, there perhaps is more that resonates with reality to say that unrealistic expectation is the blueprint for disaster. Those who rejected Jesus when He first came were steeped in their mistaken ideas about who God promised and how he would save them from their sins. This still happens today as Jesus comes to us every single day of our lives, which calls upon us to set aside any biases or unrealistic expectations and accept the Lord Jesus just as He says He is for the world: “From this man’s descendants God, according to his promise, has brought to Israel a savior, Jesus.” Love Jesus today with all your heart, and then allow that remarkable decision to permeate and affect everything you do and say from now on. Sometimes the human heart needs more time to accept what the mind already knows.

“Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” C. S. Lewis

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May 11, 2022


Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 281

Reading I – Acts 12:24—13:5A

The word of God continued to spread and grow.

After Barnabas and Saul completed their relief mission,
they returned to Jerusalem,
taking with them John, who is called Mark.

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.”
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

So they, sent forth by the Holy Spirit,
went down to Seleucia
and from there sailed to Cyprus.
When they arrived in Salamis,
they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues.
 

Responsorial Psalm – 67:2-3, 5, 6 and 8

R.        (4)  O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
            may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
            among all nations, your salvation.
R.        O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
            because you rule the peoples in equity;
            the nations on the earth you guide.
R.        O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
            may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
            and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R.        O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 8:12

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 12:44-50

Jesus cried out and said,
“Whoever believes in me believes not only in me
but also in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.
I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.
And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.
Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words
has something to judge him: the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.
And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”

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Turn On Your Truth Light


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 11, 2022

“I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.” This clear and awesome self-description from Jesus in the Gospel today speaks more than just volumes for us to ponder. It calls out throughout the centuries for a deep and true response to reality whom we follow, whom we love. How is He the light? We immediately realize that this question would automatically posture and position our conversation that could easily drift into philosophy or history, or even politics. Light, by its very definition, illumines reality. It helps us see clearer and thus walk in a way that moves us toward fulfillment, happiness, and holiness. Let us recall the words of Christ who makes it crystal clear: “I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.”

We encounter people in our lives, some who add to the joy and peace that is ours and those who attempt to rob us of that light that we take so long and with great effort to maintain. Do we surrender power to people who will use it to destroy us? Jesus saves us from precisely such horrible pitfalls and mental traps. Think of all the conversations you had yesterday, and then think of all the ones you will have. How many of them will be about important, eternal matters? Some people feel very uncomfortable and awkward talking about their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. However, everything true will speak for itself, and we are just its servants. No matter how educated, talented, rich, or “cool” any of us believe that we are, how we treat people ultimately tells everything anyone ever needs to know about who we are versus who we say we are. Go into today and travel into your world armed with what you know is good, sound, and holy!

“The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.” St. Augustine

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May 10, 2022


For the Optional Readings for the Memorial of John of Avila, please go here.

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 280

Reading I – Acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm – 87:1B-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.        (117:1A)  All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
            the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
            more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
            O city of God!
R.        All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
            among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
            “This man was born there.”
And of Zion they shall say:
            “One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
            is the Most High LORD.”
R.        All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
            “This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
            “My home is within you.”
R.        All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”

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The Suspense Is Filling Me


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 10, 2022

“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?” In the discipline of literature and creative writing, suspense is the element of both fiction and nonfiction that makes the reader uncertain about the outcome. As an emotional response, being in suspense could be good or not, depending on how sure we are of the outcome of any given situation. “And a large number of people was added to the Lord.” Humanity has always been in suspense about one thing or another. Perhaps the great number of people who turned their lives over to the Lord Jesus suggests strongly that they knew something better was waiting for them, and they found it all in Jesus. In this regard, the suspense kept the mind and heart open to find the true and lasting answers to life and love and eternity.

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” A very old and equally wise saying boldly states, “tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are.” It means that we often surround ourselves with the voices of those we tend to agree with and trust, making all the difference in the world. If we associate and fill our minds and hearts with meaningless passing things, it will be no wonder why we sense a vague, empty relationship with God and others. Who we listen to and what we watch will shape our very approach to life now, here on earth, and later in Heaven. Perhaps we don’t have the patience to wait on what God wants to say to us. A little suspense can reveal wondrous things about the world and grace and our place on the way back to God. Spend some time today and just listen. Endure the suspense.

“Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.” Mignon McLaughlin

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May 10 – Optional Memorial of John of Avila, Priest and Doctor of the Church


Lectionary: 510/1

Reading 1 – Acts 13:46-49

Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth
.”

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region. 

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 23:1-3A, 4, 5, 6

R.    (1)  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.

R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.

R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Alleluia – Mt 5:16

Let your light shine before others, 
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father
 

Gospel – Mt 5:13-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

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May 9, 2022


Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 279

Reading I – Acts 11:1-18

The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea
heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem
the circumcised believers confronted him, saying,
‘You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them.”
Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying,
“I was at prayer in the city of Joppa
when in a trance I had a vision,
something resembling a large sheet coming down,
lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me.
Looking intently into it,
I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth,
the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky.
I also heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.’
But I said, ‘Certainly not, sir,
because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
But a second time a voice from heaven answered,
‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’
This happened three times,
and then everything was drawn up again into the sky.
Just then three men appeared at the house where we were,
who had been sent to me from Caesarea.
The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating.
These six brothers also went with me,
and we entered the man’s house.
He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying,
‘Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter,
who will speak words to you
by which you and all your household will be saved.’
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them
as it had upon us at the beginning,
and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said,
‘John baptized with water
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us
when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to be able to hinder God?”
When they heard this,
they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying,
“God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.”
 

Responsorial Psalm – 42:2-3; 43:3, 4

R. (see 3A) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 10:1-10

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

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Climbing the Mountain of Life


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 9, 2022

George Mallory was the famed mountain climber who may have been the first person ever to reach the top of Mount Everest. In the early 1920’s he led several attempts to scale the mountain, eventually being killed in the third attempt in 1924. Before that last and fatal attempt, he had said: “I can’t see myself coming down defeated.” Mallory was an extraordinary climber, and nothing would force him to give up. His body was found in 1999, well preserved by the snow and ice, 27,000 feet up the mountain, just 2000 feet from the peak. He never gave up nor looked for the easy way to the top. In that same year, a banquet was held for the team that accompanied George Mallory. A huge picture of Mt. Everest stood behind the banquet table. It is said that the leader of the group stood to be applauded and with tears streaming down his face, turned and looked at the picture:

“I speak to you, Mt. Everest, in the name of all brave men living and those yet unborn. Mt Everest, you defeated us once; you defeated us twice; you defeated us three times. But Mt. Everest, we shall someday defeat you, because you can’t get any bigger but we can.” In 1953 two climbers, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzig Norgay, reached the top.

“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” Today, Jesus invites us with perfect clarity to enter through the narrow gate. This gate path could mean following the Lord Jesus when it is convenient or inconvenient. It could mean doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Entering and climbing through the narrow gate means following Christ, not just sometimes or partway, but completely. It means we persevere and sacrifice and surrender even how we think things should unfold, even in the face of disappointments and sadness. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”

God never said that the climb up the mountain of life would be easy, but He did say that the arrival would be worth everything.

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May 8, 2022


Fourth Sunday of Easter

Lectionary: 51

Reading I – Acts 13:14, 43-52

Paul and Barnabas continued on from Perga
and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered the synagogue and took their seats.
Many Jews and worshipers who were converts to Judaism
followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them
and urged them to remain faithful to the grace of God.

On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered
to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.”


The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them,
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 100:1-2, 3, 5

R (3C) We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
or:
Alleluia.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
            serve the LORD with gladness;
            come before him with joyful song.
 We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
or:
R  Alleluia.
Know that the LORD is God;
            he made us, his we are;
            his people, the flock he tends.
 We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
or:
 Alleluia.
The LORD is good:
            his kindness endures forever,
            and his faithfulness, to all generations.
 We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
or:
 Alleluia.

Reading II – Rev 7:9, 14B-17

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.

Then one of the elders said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

            “For this reason they stand before God’s throne
                        and worship him day and night in his temple.
            The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
            They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
                        nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
            For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
                        will shepherd them
                        and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
                        and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
 

Alleluia – Jn 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 10:27-30

Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”

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What’s My Assignment?


golden gates of heaven

“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 8, 2022

“So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.” One of the great gifts we can collect from the Easter mystery is a profound ability to tell the difference between good and evil; even in the most simple day-to-day experiences. More specifically, the joy of Easter lets us remove the weight we tend to place on very petty matters that rob us of the joys of living.

“For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Easter must be the time of our lives! If we could catch a mere glimpse of what Heaven would be like, we could hardly let anything annoy or upset us. And yet, in the course of things, we surrender power and attention to the wrong things.

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” This still happens today, especially with the amount of anxiety and restlessness in the world, especially these past two years with the outbreak of COVID-19. The task for all of us is clear. We must listen. We must attempt with all our might to recognize the Lord’s voice and heart in this troubled world, and with the divinely-inspired help of the Scriptures, the suspense of the future can and should and is resolved in the hearts of those who love Christ first, then all who have been placed alongside us on this earthly journey of ours. It takes true courage inspired by the Holy Spirit to even imagine a greater and fuller existence in anticipation of our life in Heaven. Yet, this adds color and suspense to life, making us believe that the best is always yet to come. And so it is.

“Every day, we have to ask God for our assignment, we must not assume we understand His plan but rather surrender to His will daily.” E’yen A. Gardner

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May 7, 2022


Saturday of the Third Week of Easter

Lectionary: 278

Reading I – Acts 9:31-42

The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria
was at peace.
She was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers.

As Peter was passing through every region,
he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda.
There he found a man named Aeneas,
who had been confined to bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed.
Peter said to him,
“Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.”
He got up at once.
And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him,
and they turned to the Lord.

Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha
(which translated is Dorcas).
She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving.
Now during those days she fell sick and died,
so after washing her, they laid her out in a room upstairs.
Since Lydda was near Joppa,
the disciples, hearing that Peter was there,
sent two men to him with the request,
“Please come to us without delay.”
So Peter got up and went with them.
When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs
where all the widows came to him weeping
and showing him the tunics and cloaks
that Dorcas had made while she was with them.
Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed.
Then he turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, rise up.”
She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.
He gave her his hand and raised her up,
and when he had called the holy ones and the widows,
he presented her alive.
This became known all over Joppa,
and many came to believe in the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm – 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17

R.        (12) How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R.        Alleluia.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
            for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
            and I will call upon the name of the LORD
R.        How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R.        Alleluia.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
            in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
            is the death of his faithful ones.
R.        How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R.        Alleluia.
O LORD, I am your servant;
            I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
            you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
            and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R.        How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – See Jn 6:63C, 68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 6:60-69

Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer walked with him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

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Easter Eggs of Peace


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 7, 2022

“The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace.” Are you at peace today? Why or why not? These questions are sincerely important because of who we are: Christians, that is, people who believe in and follow The Lord Jesus, risen from the tomb. People in our lives who do not have any faith or wonder why we have ours will certainly be looking to us to see how we handle every kind of life situation, especially disappointment, tragedy, and bad treatment. What they may be searching keenly in us is a profound sense of gratitude: “How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?” This thankful-for-living attitude can make all the difference in the world, not only in the way we live our daily lives with family and friends but also in how we subtly impact the lives of all those around us who are also searching for meaning in their own lives.

“It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” This openly optimistic and encouraging attitude has more to do with the grace and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives than it does with just simple cognitive shifts in our personality. It has everything to do with believing that Jesus accomplished everything He said and promised He would do. This is highly crucial for us. We have been so immeasurably blessed that the only response for us today is to be a blessing to others. Loved people love people, and freed people lead others to freedom.

“The Easter eggs symbolize our ability to break out of the hardened, protective shell we’ve surrounded ourselves with that limits our thoughts and beliefs. As we break open our hearts and minds we discover a transformation to a new life enhancing thoughts and beliefs.” Siobhan Shaw

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May 6, 2022


Friday of the Third Week of Easter

Lectionary: 277

Reading I – Acts 9:1-20

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
He said, “Who are you, sir?”
The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight.”
But Ananias replied,
“Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name.”
But the Lord said to him,
“Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.”
So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
“Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight.
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.

Responsorial Psalm – 117:1BC, 2

R.        (Mark 16:15)  Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
            glorify him, all you peoples!
R.        Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
            and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R.        Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 6:56

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood,
remains in me and I in him, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

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The Heart of the Matter


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 6, 2022

“‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ He said, ‘Who are you, sir?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.'” There is a very telling and interesting detail in our Scriptural Readings today. It concerns the very nature of the question that Jesus asks Saul, later the great St. Paul, as to his previously recklessness and heartless persecution of the early Christian Church. Keep in mind that he has been rounding up all those following the “New Way” of the Lord and imprisoning most of them for their beliefs. But notice what Jesus asks him: “why are you persecuting me?” What inescapable conclusion can we draw from this telling detail? Jesus is equating the Church with his very person, His own body. His new creation of the Church has everything to do with a deep and lasting, wonderfully engaging personal relationship with Himself. What a joy it is to discover that in prayer today!

The effect of this real joy is what we do with the knowledge of who Jesus is and what He has done for us. We share! This can and does bring life to others in a very broken world in which we live. “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” If we came across someone in our homes or places of schooling or work literally in obvious distress, our first reaction would be to do something positive and proactive. How much more does that matter when we know that someone needs to hear of God’s great and marvelous love for us? This is precisely how we can help Jesus and the community of believers. Be a friend to someone in need. It is just too easy to dismiss people who are not like us or perhaps do not like us! How can you be a blessing for that certain someone today? And even though we cannot expect anyone to change just because we forgive them, it is the change in our hearts and within all our attitudes that we are after. Our prayer reveals that Easter means a new life for all. Imagine all the possibilities!

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is a daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” Mahatma Gandhi

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May 5, 2022


Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

Lectionary: 276

Reading I – Acts 8:26-40

The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
“Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.”
So he got up and set out.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
“Go and join up with that chariot.”
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
“Do you understand what you are reading?”
He replied,
“How can I, unless someone instructs me?”
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:

            Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
                        and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
                                    so he opened not his mouth.
            In his humiliation justice was denied him.
                        Who will tell of his posterity?
                                    For his life is taken from the earth.

Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
“I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?”
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water.
What is to prevent my being baptized?”
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing.
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Responsorial Psalm – 66:8-9, 16-17, 20

R.        (1)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Bless our God, you peoples,
            loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
            and has not let our feet slip.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
            what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
            praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Blessed be God who refused me not
            my prayer or his kindness!
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 6:51

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 6:44-51

Jesus said to the crowds:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:

            They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world.”

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Share to Remember


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 5, 2022

Edgar Dale was a nineteenth-century American educator who developed the “Cone of Experience,” by which he made the following amazing assertions: we remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we discuss with others, 80% of what we experience, and a whopping 95% of what we teach others. There is probably some of this that would ignite debate or conversation to any varying degree of an agreement. Still, for our purposes today, let us consider the scene presented to us in the First Reading today: “‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone instructs me?'” When it comes to our approach and use and love of the Scriptures, it seems that our reading or listening to the beautiful Word of God is deeply enriched and expanded only when we share the wealth that we have discovered with others who also want to know Christ.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” Today, during this great Easter Season, we are passionately called upon to reflect on what difference it makes in our lives. We believe that Jesus has risen from the dead, defeated all the powers of darkness and hatred in this world, and saved us a place in Heaven. Something reasonably must be different in the way we approach life, and one of the more profound ways that are accomplished is how we share our faith. Take a chance today: share with someone who Jesus is for you and what great things He has done for you. Then let’s see how much you remember.

“If Easter says anything to us today, it says this: You can put truth in a grave but it won’t stay there.” Clarence W. Hall

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May 4, 2022


Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

Lectionary: 275

Reading I – Acts 8:1B-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial Psalm – 66:1-3A, 4-5, 6-7A

R.        (1)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
            sing praise to the glory of his name;
            proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
            sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
            his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
            through the river they passed on foot;
            therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – See Jn 6:40

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Everyone who believes in the Son has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

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For The Smell of Bread


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 4, 2022

“Jesus said to the crowds, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.'” Have you ever been rushing from Point A to Point B without realizing how fast you are going, and then, suddenly, you catch the aroma of something that almost immediately catapults you to another space and time? Ask anyone around you about their favorite smells, and more often than not, in the top 5, you will discover, not unsurprisingly, that the smell of freshly baked bread is there. The more interesting item for today is that the aroma of freshly-baked bread has more than just the power to make your mouth water. According to a new study, it can also make you a kinder person. According to the Daily Mail, researchers at the University of Southern Brittany in France found that shoppers were more likely to alert a random passerby that they had dropped a belonging if, at the time, they were also passing a bakery giving off the sweet scent of baking bread. The findings, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, suggest that certain smells can trigger a more positive mood, which leads to a greater degree of kindness and charity to strangers making for a great level of happiness. “For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city.” In a very similar and mysterious way, Jesus has risen from the dead, giving us Himself as the Bread of Life so that we might go through thigh this life with an immense amount of confidence and joy to face no matter what is right before us, especially the challenge to forgive, move one and thrive in the Spirit of God who in face raised Jesus from the grave.

This power to thrive, forgive and surrender one’s being is supernatural and requires supernatural food to accomplish: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” It should be clear by now that none of us will make it off this planet alive; that is, we will all come to that door of eternity where we must, by definition, surrender our spirit and everything else that accompanied it while we spent rented and precious time here. Today we are all called to partake of the most wondrous and miraculous meal known as the Eucharist so that we might truly enter into that mysterious life and move forward in faith toward our destiny which lies in Heaven; in the meantime, there is sufficient power and healthy living right here, right now. It begins with forgiveness and the wonderful smell and presence of bread which brings to life today the Bread of Life.

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” Mahatma Gandhi

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May 3, 2022


Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles

Lectionary: 561

Reading I – 1 Cor 15:1-8

I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more
than five hundred brothers and sisters at once,
most of whom are still living,
though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the Apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me.

Responsorial Psalm – 19:2-3, 4-5

R.        (5)  Their message goes out through all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
            and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day;
            and night to night imparts knowledge.
R.        Their message goes out through all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Not a word nor a discourse
            whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
            and to the ends of the world, their message.
R.        Their message goes out through all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Jn 14:6B, 9C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord;
Philip, whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 14:6-14

Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

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The Holy Trifecta


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 3, 2022

“Jesus said to Thomas, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'” How is Jesus “The Way?” Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think about how precious the time you have to spend is at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored. (Earl Nightingale) Once we accept Jesus into our hearts and carry Him wherever we go, there is a certain appreciation for life that never leaves us. Once we realize and accept that Jesus is the way I want to follow, every minute of my life is a true gift, and others begin to see and experience that.

How is Jesus “The Truth?” Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learning. Work hard and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. (Philip Sweet) People all around us worship many things in this life, anything from money to power and pleasure. When Jesus becomes our Truth, everything He has taught us is maintained in a life of remarkable integrity. This is critical, especially in the face of temptation, when we must make that daily choice of which version of ourselves we choose to be for that moment. It also means we are now posed to forgive even the meanest and cruelest individuals we will ever meet. Jesus is stronger than any of those!

How is Jesus “The Life?” There is only one happiness in this life: love and be loved. (George Sand) When a person accepts Jesus as their universe and pattern of living, love becomes nearly effortless. That is because God is love, and for those who truly understand the overwhelming love shown to us, especially in the death and Resurrection of Jesus His Son, the only response can be a life of generous giving of self, amazing patience, and love. This prepares us for eternal life in Heaven where there is no more pain, no more guilt, no more tears. “If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

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May 2, 2022


For the Suggested Readings for the Memorial of Saint Athanasius, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 273

Reading I – Acts 6:8-15

Stephen, filled with grace and power,
was working great wonders and signs among the people.
Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen,
Cyreneans, and Alexandrians,
and people from Cilicia and Asia,
came forward and debated with Stephen,
but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke.
Then they instigated some men to say,
“We have heard him speaking blasphemous words
against Moses and God.”
They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes,
accosted him, seized him,
and brought him before the Sanhedrin.
They presented false witnesses who testified,
“This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law.
For we have heard him claim
that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place
and change the customs that Moses handed down to us.”
All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him
and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Responsorial Psalm – 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30

R.        (1AB)  Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Though princes meet and talk against me,
            your servant meditates on your statutes.
Yes, your decrees are my delight;
            they are my counselors.
R.        Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I declared my ways, and you answered me;
            teach me your statutes.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
            and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R.        Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Remove from me the way of falsehood,
            and favor me with your law.
The way of truth I have chosen;
            I have set your ordinances before me.
R.        Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia – Mt 4:4B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
One does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 6:22-29

[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.]
The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea
saw that there had been only one boat there,
and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat,
but only his disciples had left.
Other boats came from Tiberias
near the place where they had eaten the bread
when the Lord gave thanks.
When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me
not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”

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Look Who’s Talking


“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 2, 2022

A wise man once attempted to comfort a younger apprentice who seemed to have been the target of several slimy and vicious remarks from a coworker by stating the following: “whatever is ever said to you is never more important than the one who said it.” Now just think about that bit of advice for just a minute and then consider the passages we have been gifted today in the Scriptures: “Though princes meet and talk against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. Yes, your decrees are my delight; they are my counselors.”

Do we ever truly realize how many words and phrases are spoken to us on any given day? Some are surely good, and others are not so. In the First Reading in the ugliness hurled at Stephen, we received a glimpse of this: “We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God.” We can safely conclude from these two Biblical selections that all of us, throughout the entire span of human experience, have to decide quickly and wisely what we will allow to settle, grow, or fester into our ears, hearts, and minds.

With that in mind, the Gospel screams for attention to the only voice that we can truly trust 100% of the time and in every situation before us: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.'” Let us call out to one another and challenge each other to pay even more attention to the words of Jesus uttered in the Scriptures for us, especially in the coming week believing that it is important to see who is talking and what He is is saying.

“Somewhere we know that without silence, words lose their meaning, that without listening, speaking no longer heals, that without distance, closeness cannot cure.” Henri Nouwen

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May 2 – Memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church


For the Readings for the Memorial of Saint Athanasius, please go here.

Memorial of Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 560

Below are the readings suggested for today’s Memorial. However, readings for the Memorial may also be taken from the Common of Pastors, #719-724 or the Common of Doctors of the Church, #725-730.

Reading 1 – 1 Jn 5:1-5

Beloved:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 37:3-4, 5-6, 30-31

R.    (30A)  The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Trust in the LORD and do good
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom
and his tongue utters what is right.
The law of his God is in his heart,
and his steps do not falter.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

Alleluia – Mt 5:10

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Mt 10:22-25

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes.
No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like the teacher,
and the slave that he become like the master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub,
how much more those of his household!”

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May 1, 2022


Third Sunday of Easter

Lectionary: 48

Reading I – Acts 5:27-32, 40B-41

When the captain and the court officers had brought the apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
“We gave you strict orders, did we not,
to stop teaching in that name?
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the apostles said in reply,
“We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

The Sanhedrin ordered the apostles
to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.

Responsorial Psalm – Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13

R  (2A) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
 Alleluia.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
            and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
            you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
 I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
 Alleluia.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
            and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
            a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
            but with the dawn, rejoicing.
 I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
 Alleluia.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
            O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
            O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
 I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
 Alleluia.

Reading II – Rev 5:11-14

I, John, looked and heard the voices of many angels
who surrounded the throne
and the living creatures and the elders.
They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice:
            “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
                        to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength,
                        honor and glory and blessing.”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth
and under the earth and in the sea,
everything in the universe, cry out:
            “To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
                        be blessing and honor, glory and might,
                        forever and ever.”
The four living creatures answered, “Amen, “
and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ is risen, creator of all;
he has shown pity on all people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – Jn 21:1-19 or 21:1-14

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Jesus said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

OR

At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “AIt is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

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Only So Many Tomorrows


father pointing upward holding infant son

“The very first Easter taught us this: that life never ends and love never dies.”

– Kate McGahan

Reflection on Mass Reading for May 1, 2022

“…but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” It is an interesting and acquired taste of irony that we enter this life needing someone else to dress, feed, and clean up after us, only to find that toward the very end of this amazing life, we will depend on others, not the same people to do the same for us. What can we learn from this? One aspect is clear. We are brought into the world with the almost inescapable lessons of service and self-emptying to hopefully initiate for the years that we have with the not-so-unrealistic hope that others will still be there for us when we are at the depths of need and dependence.

“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” This is precisely why the question that Jesus asks of Peter in the Gospel (and three entire times obviously to make a divine point) is startling and realistically geared for every one of us who seeks to live a life of integrity and peace and one day finds our eternal home in Heaven. Life is certainly too short and too fragile to live selfishly. We are placed here to help each other, and everyone has a distinct mission to fulfill. God put you and me here for a definite and wonderful reason, and we first find out what that is and then live life to the absolute fullest. When Jesus asks us, “do you love me?,” the only way to answer is to show Him how much we love each other.

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” St. Pope Paul VI

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